Lucas Till and hybrid
So, a movie conceived by a 4-year-old about monster trucks powered by real monsters is actually better than you might believe. (Yes, Monster Trucks was based on the idea of a studio exec’s young son.) This $115 million family flick also pretty much lives up to, and occasionally exceeds, its low expectations.
A greedy oil exec (needlessly played by Rob Lowe) forces his team to displace a family of subterranean creatures that inexplicably love to power trucks. High-school-age Tripp (Lucas Till, the new MacGyver, who comes out of this still poised to be a next-gen action lead) takes advantage of the monsters’ power to plot-motivatingly get out of town.
More of the film’s budget was spent on actors than was necessary. Why is every tiny role filled by a familiar face? Amy Ryan’s very brief appearances as Tripp’s mom seem particularly wasteful, though the parts played by Danny Glover, as the owner of the salvage yard where Tripp works; Barry Pepper, as the boyfriend of Tripp’s mom; and Frank Whaley, as Tripp’s dad, all could have been assigned to nobodies. Nevertheless, this big, dumb, beautiful blob of a movie is the sort of oddball creature-feature kids may actually remember from their childhood.